It’s Christmas Eve and the panic is setting in. You’ve crossed everyone off your gift list…well, nearly. There’s always that odd few presents to account for: the neighbor who’s usually down to host game, your significant others’ mother’s new boyfriend, the friend that hit you with an unexpected, but appreciated, last-minute invite for a little night before cheer. Now what?
You could have kept a few Diptyque or Voluspa candles on hand for emergency gift-giving. But you didn’t so, note for next time. What about tonight? Don’t worry. TheLUSHiouslife has got you.
Lots of shops will be shutting early, but you know what stores will be open most of the night? Liquor stores. And, if you scout around there, you should be able to polish off the rest of your list. Check it
Who doesn’t like a bit of bubbly during the festive season? This limited edition bottle from Chandon ($24) takes any tablescape from ho-hum to ho-ho-ho. Grab a couple of bottles and you’re good to go.
Gift one or the who trio of these La Quintinye Vermouths ($24 each) and announce that “everybody is doing aperitifs this season.” Traditionally, aperitifs are meant to be enjoyed prior to a meal. The low alcohol content is said to prepare the stomach and the palate for the feast to come, plus it’s a sophisticated way to transition from the hustle of the day and ease into a relaxing evening. Alternately, you could use them as mixers in cocktails that call for vermouth. The Royal Blanc is a great dry vermouth that can also sub in for Lillet, or St. Germaine. The Royal Rouge is a classic sweet vermouth, think Boulevardier, Manhattan and Negroni. The Royal Extra Dry is more one to play around with to see what combinations suit you.
*See below for a few recipes to get you started (Hint: print them out on cards and include in the package with the bottles).
Sure, you could just buy a bottle of Grand Marnier for the budding mixologist on your list, but going that extra step is what the season is all about. They’ll love this set which includes the “original recipe” plus a 50mL bottle of the delicious raspberry peach ($40), which can add a flavorful twist on your Cosmo or Margarita.
Any fan of tequila would love to get a bottle of Milagro Single Barrel Reserve Silver ($53). Pair this with a cocktail shaker, a handjuicer (for juicing limes), 2 margarita glasses and you’re all set. Or just wrap up the bottle, it’s striking enough to stand on its own.
1-1/3 oz La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc
Serve over ice in a tumbler.
1 2/3 oz La Quintinye Vermouth Rouge
6 oz tonic or ginger ale
orange twist for garnish
Serve over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
1 2/3 oz La Quintinye Vermouth Extra Dry
1 1/3 oz Creme de Cassis
6 oz soda water
lemon twist and licorice stick garnish.
Serve over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with lemon twist, use licorice stick as stirrer.